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'Dora and the Lost City of Gold' Review

Updated on August 11, 2019

Dora and the Lost City of Gold is a 2019 adventure film directed by James Bobin. It is a live-action adaptation and continuation of Nickelodeon and Nick Jr.'s television series Dora the Explorer. It stars Isabela Moner as the title character, with Eugenio Derbez, Michael Peña, Eva Longoria, Danny Trejo, and Benicio del Toro in supporting roles.

Having spent most of her life exploring the jungle with her parents, nothing could prepare Dora for her most dangerous adventure ever: high school. Always the explorer, Dora quickly finds herself leading Boots, Diego, a mysterious jungle inhabitant, and a ragtag group of teens on a live-action adventure to save her parents and solve the impossible mystery behind a lost Inca civilization.


Dora and the Lost City of Gold was a film I had no hope for. I wasn't that excited to see it, and if I'm honest I thought this was going to be the biggest trainwreck of the year. So going into the film my expectations were low, but after watching it I have to say I actually enjoyed it.

No it's not perfect. I wouldn't even consider it great. The film had a lot of flaws, problems, and there's things they should have done deferentially, but overall it was a fairly entertaining film.

Very early on you can tell exactly what the film is going to be. It's silly, very predictable, not that original, and very basic.

There were some very funny moments in the film. One in particular involving boots really had me laughing. The film also humorously poked fun at itself a few times.

The biggest problem I thought the film had was that it did the bare minimum. In terms of the characters, their arcs, and the plot there all so basic and nothing was given that much time to really be great making everything just feel OK at best.

The characters get arcs but their exactly what you'd expect, and they really didn't develop any of it. They try to do certain things, but the entire film felt a little rushed. So they only scratched the surface on a lot of those things. I wish they would've added maybe 20 more minutes so they could've fleshed out a least some of it.

Another problem I had was with Swiper. He felt very unnecessary, underused, and a little out of place. He popped up a few times and that was really it.

Another thing was the overall theme and the lesson I guess was supposed to be taught. There's multiple ones, but none of them felt right. The film just didn't have a very clear message it wanted to tell. There things about being normal and being yourself, but then they go for teamwork and asking for help before they go to kids can do anything. Multiple voices whisper at you, but none of them come across clearly.

The film also had a few smaller problems. The pacing could've used some work. The story also wasn't that great, and the film had a lot of filler. Some of it was entertaining, but filler non the less.

With all that being said I still found the film to be pretty entertaining. It was heavily flawed, but still entertaining. This film definitely exceeded all my expectations, and although I wouldn't consider it a particularly good film I still had a pretty fun time.


The acting was solid. Isabla Moner really shun in this film. She fully embraced everything about the character and gave a childish yet genuine performance. She was one of the main reasons why I found this film to be as entertaining as it was.

The rest of the car was also solid. Eugenio Derbez was very good his role. I thought Michael Peña was hilarious, and I wish he would've gotten more screen time.

The actors and actress that play the teens also did a respectable job. They made slightly annoying characters a little more tolerable. I thought the acting as a whole was solid.


The story and plot was definitely a low point in the film. There just wasn't a ton there, and they tried to fill in the runtime with filler that really didn't add anything to the story.

It's very simple and basic, but very shallow. It severely lacked depth. There were really only two moments that really added anything major to the overall story, other then that the film was just filled with the characters getting into random situations that really added nothing.

I thought the film was entertaining enough to overcome the poor story and plot at least to some extent, but overall it was very weak.


This wasn't a great film, and it was deeply flawed. In terms of quality it's borderline OK. There's a lot of missed opportunities, they didn't flesh anything out, the story was very weak, the characters weren't great, and the film was filled with a lot of filler. However I still found the film to be pretty entertaining. It was also elevated by a great performance from it's lead actress.

Enough of the jokes landed, and I found it to be pretty fun. Dora and the Lost City of Gold wasn't the greatest film I've seen, but it was far from the trainwreck I thought it would be. Overall I thought it was entertaining enough to make up for most of it's shortcomings, and just a simple fun family film that I enjoyed.

3 stars for Dora and the Lost City of Gold

© 2019 Royce Proctor Jr


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